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WDM online lecture: Agroforestry, energy plantations
4 May 2021 - 4 May 2021 @ 17:30
04 May 2021, 17:30
Agroforestry, energy plantations and landscape management: land use, biodiversity, and wildlife habitats
Sándor Némethy (University of Pécs; University of Gothenberg); László Szemethy (University of Pécs)
Discussant: Giuseppe lo Papa (University of Palermo)
Woody biomass production may have both beneficial and adverse effects on cultural landscapes regarding land use, protection and/or creation of wildlife habitats, conservation and remediation of wastelands. Establishing energy plantations on arable lands, natural forest areas or on grasslands is against nature conservation, while setting up them in depleted agricultural lands of inferior quality, polluted areas or wastelands could be advantageous for land reclamation and wildlife habitats.
The main forms of energy plantations include short rotation forestry (SRF), short rotation coppicing (SRC), agroforestry (AF) and polycyclic arboriculture. While short rotation forestry and short rotation coppicing have many similarities to monoculture, traditional agroforestry and polycyclic arboriculture provide better conditions for plant biodiversity, healthy soil formation and development of wildlife habitats. Furthermore, the more permanent cover provides shelter and biomass for feeding, which is especially important in winter, the higher architectural complexity of vegetation provides more place for nesting and feeding and the forbs in the undergrowth and young shots provide better quality food for wildlife than the intensive monocultures. However, the aforementioned intensive forms (SRF and SRC) of energy plantations can be beneficial when connected to phytoremediation of polluted land areas, since in these cases short rotation and intensive biomass production can be desirable for fast removal of pollutants from soil and groundwater.
Depending on the applied species, the scale of biomass production and the energy production technologies, woody biomass production can be an important component of renewable energy systems, but unlikely to become the main source of renewable energy production. Therefore, the solution is a complex management system, which includes land use, phytoremediation, and a system of interlinked renewable energy sources. In this way the ecological resilience of the landscape is guaranteed through well designed agroecosystems, where even the sufficient size of ecotones is provided in connection with natural ecosystems.
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Sándor Némethy PhD, biologist, marine geologist, strategic manager, associate professor at University of Gothenburg, Sweden, University of Pécs, Hungary and University College of Tourism and Ecology, Sucha Beskidzka, Poland. Research: ecosystem services and landscape management, aquatic ecosystems, renewable energy systems, circular economy, ecomuseums and landscape observatories. Teaching: Earth System Science, soil science, genetics and biotechnology, wine geography, oenotourism. Languages: Hungarian, English, Swedish, Polish, Italian.
László Szemethy PhD, Hungarian, biologist, game management engineer, full time professor at the University of Pécs. Main research topics: monitoring, biology, behaviour of game species; game management and wildlife conservation; conservation and socio-economic aspects of sustainable use. Leader or participant in 43 national and international research projects. 461 publications, 553 independent citations, Hirsch index: 13. University courses in wildlife biology and conservation, rural development.
Giuseppe Lo Papa (PhD) is Aggregate Professor in Pedology, University of Palermo, Italy. Subject areas of hi reserach work are: Pedology, Soil geography, Land evaluation, taught in the following academic courses: Forestry, Agriculture, Natural Sciences, Environmental Sciences.